Main Issues : Development in Countryside, Energy, Minerals, Coastal development, Green belt

Again, I try to summarise the policy proposals and give my comments on these.  Your feedback, especially before 20th January, would be appreciated.

Development in Countryside: divides Aberdeenshire into 3 : Accessible (around Aberdeen and the A90 and A96 corridors), Regeneration priority (Peterhead-Fraserburgh and the Moray coast) and Rural (everything else).  In Accessible, small scale developments suitable for Green Belt will be allowed plus refurbishment/replacement of existing.  For Rural, add economic development proposals, max 3 houses close to edge of existing settlements, or single house for retirement succession of viable farm holding.  (Rural includes Regeneration).
Wind Energy: technical rules re roads/railways, flights, TV reception, ice throw shadow flicker, noise, visual intrusion.  Impacts on Core Paths and Cumulative Impact.  Reference to existing Supplementary Planning Guidance.
Other renewable energy:   sympathetic if well sited and designed.
Minerals: Reference to maps indicting area of search (not published in these documents - I will ask for copy), sand and gravel - 15 years supply maximum, cumulative impact considered if 3 more more consents for landfill for mineral extraction within 5km of a settlement, explicit reference to buffer zones etc.

Coastal Development: similar to existing policy - limited to developments requiring coastal location and where social and economic benefits outweigh adverse environmental impacts and no alternative site. List of other hurdles - coalescence of settlements, character and amenity, flooding, water quality, coastal processes or habitats.  I make no comment!

Green Belt: extensions to existing; agri/forestry/horiticulture/nature conservation; recreation use compatible with countryside; sensitive restoration; worker in primary industry rerquired on-site; National Priority; Safeguarded resources in Areas of search (see Minerals above).  Comment that development in Green Belt may reduced travel compared to development beyond.

The 3 houses on edge of rural settlements seems a pragmatic way to allow organic growth - but it will be interesting to see what happens with the maximum 20% in any 5 year period limit.    It seems odd to allow retiring farmers in Rural but not in Accessible - the social factors are similar.   I'll need to see the maps for Minerals areas of search.   Coastal and Green Belt - very similar to existing.  However, we were also expecting a review of the Green Belt maps in this local plan and as a result of the AWPR.  We need this.

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